Plickers

Do you have a cell phone or iPad?  Do your students have limited access to online devices?  Then Plickers might be for you!  Plickers is a simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices.

Setting Up Plickers is Easy!

Plickers Icon - Blue
Step 1: Teacher downloads the Plickers mobile app.  It is free for both iOSand Android – find them on the App Store and on Google Play. It will work on iPads too (just make sure to search for iPhone app)!

Sample Card Image
Step 2: Print Plickers cards.

Step 3: Set up Classes on Plickers Website.

Step 4: Add Questions on the Plickers Website.

Step 5: On the mobile app, choose the question you want to use.

Step 6: Have students hold up cards with the correct answer facing right-side up.  Scan the room with your phone/iPad.

Step 7: Use LiveView Tab on the Website to display results to students.

Step 8: Use Scoresheet under Reports on the Website to monitor student progress, save time on grading, and run detailed reports.

Check out this Slide Show for Help getting started or watch the video below:

How will you use Plickers in your classroom?  I can’t wait to hear about it!

 

Newsela and Blendspace

Newsela — (Grades 2-5) This site provides current event articles on various reading levels (sports, health, science, arts, kids, etc).  Each day there are new articles that you can assign to your class (or read in small groups).  Each article has about 5 different reading levels (by lexile level)…so students can read about the same topic at their own level.  There are quizzes students can take, and best of all, there is a search bar that allows a teacher to search for articles that relate to certain reading skills (Author’s Purpose/Point of View, Text Structure, Central Idea, etc).  It might be another resource to add to the list of ways to engage your students in Reading.
Blendspace — (All Grades) Love, love this resource!  Blendspace allows you to create collections of web resources on a certain topic (videos, websites, pictures, etc).  This resource would be great to use with your students in the computer lab, as a small station within your classroom, or even as a way to organize materials you will present to your students on your Activboard.  You can add quizzes and monitor student progress too, if you want.  There are even tons of lessons already available that you can use immediately with your students. We are going to be encouraging you to move away from Portaportal (due to all the ads), and this is an excellent resource to take its place. :)

Read, Give, and Share Books Online!

wegivebooksI just found an amazing free resource and I wanted to pass it on to all of you. We Give Books is a free online library of children’s books that enables your kids to help other children around the world while they’re reading. The best part is, your reading will directly impact the great work of non-profit organizations around the world! Their tagline says it all, “combining the joy of reading with the power of giving.” It’s the perfect tool for parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone who loves children’s books!

When you go to www.wegivebooks.org, you’ll be able to read a special selection of books without a We Give Books account, but you have to sign up to access their full library. It’s definitely worth it, though. It’s just a quick form, and once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to over 150 quality children’s books! There are a lot of familiar classic titles, and even more new ones for us to discover. You can sort the books by age level, genre, author, and seasonal selections in the “Featured” section, so everyone can find something they like.

On the Causes page you can learn more about where your donated books are going. This fall, We Give Books is focusing on early childhood literacy across the United States and supporting great causes like Jumpstart for young children. In the winter, you’ll be able to read to support global literacy and give books to non-profits like Room to Read. They also give you the option to donate to help your book donations reach even more children.

We Give Books is a program of the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group. Penguin works with its authors to provide an outstanding selection of online books while the Pearson Foundation donates print books to charity partners. We Give Books is a great way to get your children excited about reading and to teach them about the importance of helping others.

Presenting the Oak Grove Digital Archive

The teachers at Oak Grove Elementary decided, during a faculty book study meeting, to create a digital archive on their school website to display all the wonderful projects there students were creating for STEM, PBL, and 21st Century Learning.  They wanted a way for parents and students to have “copies” of the three dimensional group projects the students were creating. Also, they wanted to showcase digital projects that their students were creating with iPads and other devices.  Take a look here:

The Oak Grove Digital Archive

The newest step in this adventure is to also post QR codes around the school.  Parents can scan the QR codes to see the virtual projects or read more about the things their children have been creating in class.  It is a physical way to display work in the hall with a digital link.  Take look at some of the teachers’ displays:

I’m really excited about the ways teachers are taking technology to the next level at Oak Grove.  Stop by their site and see what you think!

Flocabulary (Hip Hop Videos for the Classroom)

Have you heard of Flocabulary? It’s a website that does hip hop songs to help students remember certain facts. It started with SAT vocab, but has expanded to all levels and subjects. To have access to all the videos/songs you need to pay a fee, but a few are free…including the one for Egypt, which you can watch here.

Note the lyrics below the song (they are clickable) and the resources to go with it on the right hand side of the page. I will warn you…you will be singing the chorus to this in your head all day after you hear it, or at least I did! :)

There are other free videos too worth checking out on the site, including Confessions of a Planet (Space), On Trial! (Test Taking Vocabulary), Let Freedom Ring (Civil Rights), This Ain’t Working (American Revolution), Place Value, Scientific Method of Madness, and more!  There is a vocabulary section broken down by grade level and tons of other great videos in the paid version. You can also download songs in iTunes (for $.99 each).  Take a look (and listen).  I think you will love these!

 

Make Your Own Presidential Ad!

Want to be President?  Well, you can at least make your own commercial!  Try it out here:

Presidential Campaign Ad-o-matic

You can definitely grab your students attention, or have them make their own as the beginning to a writing prompt.  During the process students will need to upload their pictures, choose their political party, and choose the items in their platform.  Very fun!

Newspapers in Education (Roanoke Times)

If you teach in the Roanoke Valley, you have access to Newspapers in Education. If you’ve used this service in the past, chances are you received paper copies of the Roanoke Times delivered to your classroom each day, for FREE. Now the service has improved even more…the Roanoke Times can now be viewed in a digital form, online, for FREE. It’s available for use in the computer lab, on your laptop, on your activboard, and even at home. And students can access too! It looks exactly like the paper version, but since it’s digital, it’s even better.

nie

Electronic Edition of NIE

With the digital version you can

  • search for specific things using a search box
  • email or print articles with both text and pictures
  • get inserts from any area in the county
  • see past issues of the paper (up to a month)
  • highlight certain sections, scan headlines, flip through pages
  • And yes, you can get the coupons!! 
Article Options

Article Options

Back Issues
Back Issues

I can see this tool being used by students of all ages.  Students can use pictures as writing prompts, find and highlight certain words, view articles about their community, or use the coupons for math lessons.  The weather section is great for all sorts of science and math activites, and  older students can print or email specific artilces to their teachers along with their reactions or summaries. 

In Roanoke County, we’ve set up accounts for our elementary schools to use.  Just visit  Newspapers in Education (nie.roanoke.com).  Please see your ITRT for the student login/password (hint: it’s the same student login/password as the computers in our school).  If you work for another division in the Roanoke Valley, or want your own teacher account, just enroll!  You can also contact Trent Currin at 540-981-3286 or email her at  Trent.Currin@roanoke.com.

Virtual Manipulatives

virtualmanipulatives1I found this great math site by Glencoe on a blog I recently started following, InTech InSights by Karen Ogen.  I am always looking for ways to practice the online tools that are similar to those used in testing, and this site has both a ruler (which doesn’t have the zero line at the end) and a protractor.  Not only is is great for testing, there are tons of other manipulatives, workmats, storyboards, and game mats available (Base Ten blocks and boards, balance activities, calendars, grids, clocks, money, shapes, spinners, thermometers, counters, fraction pieces, and a bunch of other items).  The site is great for PK-8th grade, and will work well on the ActivBoard!  Check it out!virtualmanipulatives2